By now, you’ve almost certainly seen the news that a US Air Force F-15 (almost certainly an “E” model optimized for ground attack) has crashed in Libya after “mechanical” problems. Thankfully, the crew ejected safely and have been returned to US control.
Now, I’m not saying the President lied, but I sure got the impression from the early briefings just before the shooting started that US airpower would be limited to tanker support, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) and jamming support from offshore, as opposed to operations over the ground in Libya.
Instead, we find that B-2 bombers made a “first day of the war” strike against airfields in Libya, and apparently, US aircraft are indeed operating over the battlefield, and that they are constrained by Rules of Engagement that make little military sense.
I was a heck of a lot more willing to support US intervention when we had an offshore role. Instead, we’re getting deeper and deeper into this mess. The Marines had to go ashore to get one of the F-15 crew back (a mission they practice regularly called “TRAP”- Tactical Recovery of Aircraft and Personnel). That went smoothly- this time…
All this in the absence of any authorization by Congress. I find it interesting Obama spent a hell of a lot more time consulting with the UN than our own government.